By Colonel Donna Igleheart
March 8, 2022 is recognized as International Women’s Day. It’s an opportunity to pay tribute to all the women who have stood up against an unjust society, paving the way for the freedom of future generations. It’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s a day to celebrate women from around the globe for their contributions to the world! It’s a day to celebrate our Creator for His love and His plans for every one of us. It’s a day to celebrate YOU!
In Acts 16 we find a beautiful story of a woman named Lydia. I would encourage you to read once again this story of obedience on Paul’s part that led to a transformational life for Lydia.
We find her story here because God had a specific encounter for her, He had a plan to use her in a way she never could have imagined. The story of Lydia is a reminder that God shows up in unexpected places and He uses women in all walks and seasons of life. Her story becomes quite extraordinary and transformational for generations to come.
Lydia by trade, sold expensive purple cloth. She must have had a reputation as someone of influence, wealth, and who was educated. However, she was lacking the most significant detail in her story…she didn’t know Jesus. She was a woman of prayer and as she heard Paul speaking about Jesus, she didn’t waste time to kneel and open her heart. The Word says that she lost no time in confessing her sins and was baptized in the same river where she had gathered many times to pray. We read that members of her household were also saved!! She immediately opened her home to Paul and the other missionaries. This conversion had even greater purpose for the story continues that Lydia became the first person to share the gospel in Europe. God uses women!
Lives are transformed when people see the image of God through you and me. Lydia could have said, someone else can open their home, someone else can go to Europe and share Jesus, but she realized her purpose and allowed God to use her. People need to see God being used in our lives; our lives must be so transparent that others see the heart of God through our actions and love for others, even though we may feel like it’s not enough! You may be searching, doubting or questioning your purpose. Your circumstances may feel overwhelming today. Every woman before us has faced her battles, but God will use you where you are when your heart is opened to His leading. Some are called to a riverbank, some are called to Africa, some are called to the communities right where they are.
We are all called to make a difference for the Kingdom. We are to be Kingdom women! Thank you for loving Jesus and preparing the way for others to follow. I’m blessed to call you beloved sisters in Christ!
Check out this LINK to learn more about how The Salvation Army is celebrating International Women’s Day!